Apple's new iMac: Made in the USA?
The latest version of the iMac went on sale Friday, and it appears Apple may be moving some manufacturing of the device to the United States.
Apple (AAPL) has long received criticism for manufacturing products in China, as the United States struggles for jobs and economic growth. It appears that may be changing somewhat, though, with the company's new iMac computers apparently being made in the U.S.A.
Gadget website iFixit's teardown of the 21.5-inch iMac, which went on sale on Friday, revealed the words "Assembled in USA" inside the device.
The majority of Apple's products have been made in East Asia through Foxconn Technology, Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner. It's possible, however, that Apple is ramping up production of some of its products in the United States, something that Apple chief Tim Cook said he would like to see more of. Cook was asked at a recent conference hosted by AllThingsD whether Apple would envision having a big manufacturing presence domestically, similar in scale to what it has in China. Cook responded by saying, "I want there to be."
Parts of the iPhone and iPad are already made domestically, but assembling the product in the United States is a different story.
Rules for that
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has guidelines for when a manufacturer can assert the "Assembled in the USA" claim. "A product that includes foreign components may be called 'Assembled in USA' without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial," the agency says. "For the 'assembly' claim to be valid, the product's last 'substantial transformation' also should have occurred in the U.S. That's why a 'screwdriver' assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn't usually qualify for the 'Assembled in USA' claim."
Consumers react favorably to companies that make products domestically; at least that's the conventional wisdom. If this perception is indeed the case, perhaps the goodwill Apple builds by producing computers domestically will boost sales.
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